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Self-Awareness and Analysis of Feelings

Updated February 15, 2021
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Self-Awareness and Analysis of Feelings essay

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“Self, is an organized, consistent set of perceptions and belief about oneself” (Rogers, 1959). Selfawareness is the “The capacity of becoming the object of one’s own attention” (Duval & Wicklund, 1972). Development of self-awareness can strongly influenced by childhood experience, learning, believes etc. Sometime such influences cause mal-awareness about self.

Transactional analysis is a social psychology developed by Eric Berne, MD (d.1970) where in social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the client. Transactional analysts follows the core concepts of Sigmund Freud, about the childhood and its impact on the adult personality. Racket feelings is an important concept in transactional analysis, which explains the tendency to express manipulated feeling instead of authentic feelings as a result of childhood learnings. Racket feelings are the symbols of mal-self-awareness.

Authentic feelings; Authenticity is often operationalized phenomenological as a perception of authentic states, usually the degree to which one feels true to oneself (Fleeson & Wilt, 2010; Lenton, Bruder, et al., 2013; Sheldon et al., 1997; Turner & Billings, 1991). Authentic feelings are characteristic of good self-awareness. Racket feelings; Racket feeling is always substitute for another feeling, one which was prohibited in our childhood. It is a manipulated feeling over an authentic feeling. The distinction between racket and authentic feeling was first suggested by Fenita English.

Awareness of our own feelings and perception has three major aspects:

  • Present inner awareness: Real authentic awareness of our self-regarding the present situation.
  • Demonstration or expression by means of appearance, behavior or words
  • Action directed at someone or something

The more skillful and capable one possess good inner awareness which broadens their authentic expression and action.

In children there is no such refined choices, these different aspects coexisted undifferentiated patterns. The identification of feelings, perceptions is initiated by parents e.g.: When the parents say see the dog, hear how it barks, the child sorts out what he perceives and feel , When parent names child’s expression like, oh you jumped, are you scared? Which creates an awareness about their feeling to themselves, sometimes prohibiting certain feeling to act or express teaches child

the difference between action and feelings and eventually child learn what, when, to whom the child want to express their feelings. When some parents finds certain feelings in their child which is inappropriate for their culture, religion, believe or something, they tend to prevent that feeling or force them to be not aware of certain properties. These childhood experiences are the source of Racket feelings.

Racket feelings can be good or bad. Happiness, blamelessness or euphoria are example of good rackets, anxiety, anger like rackets are considered as bad .Regardless good or bad rackets are considered as unauthentic. Racket feelings has a higher affect in one’s social lives. Expression of racket feeling often create irritation in people and they tend to avoid such persons.

So persons showing racket behaviors seems to have less social relations and they try to find stroke for their racket feelings. The strokes may like ‘doing nothing’, ‘agitation’, ‘over adaptation’, ‘incapacitation of violence’ etc. Real feelings and perceptions are here and now responses to internal and external stimuli. An authentic person can allow himself to know and accept any and all feelings that occur in his child, whether his parent like them or not. His adult can separate feeling from action; he can also choose what and when to show or to express.

Feelings and perception can be listed in three:

  1. Basic bodily craving related to survival and sensual perception.
  2. Reactions to having the above full filled or frustrated, and to other external stimuli.
  3. Later stage cravings related to drives.

Real VS Racket

Authentic feelings Racket feelings:

  • Basic bodily cravings, stroke hunger, physical expression, Locomotion, perception, rage
  • Comfort, discomfort, contentment, joy, frustration, pain, rage, fear, confusion, empty, desire, hopeful, helplessness, omnipotent
  • Curiosity, playfulness, need to express and grow.
  • Chronic dissatisfaction, restlessness, nervousness, disgust, irritability, exhaustion, deprivation, over eating, vomiting, alcoholism, hyper sexuality  Psycho somatic ailments, over sensitive, persistent hopelessness, violence, exploitative
  • Nervous inquisitiveness , questioning, racketeering the expressions

My Personal Learnings

The session was on ‘expression of feelings’. It was started with a questionnaire, by answering it I’m able to make an analyses about my feelings. What is ‘feeling’, how we express it, does it satisfy our real need, does the feeling cause any distress to our environment – these aspects of feeling grabbed my attention and helped me to recognize about whether I’m showing a real or a fake feeling. While answering questions, I was totally blank when it comes to the ‘anger feeling’. From it I got an awareness about myself that, I used to suppress my anger and show fear instead of anger. Even before the session, I’m aware of my ‘anger’ but I used to believe that it was a good thing to don’t have anger. In fact the session created an awareness that ‘I have anger’ but I’m faking it with placing my fear over it. This may due to my learning that is, when I show fear others come to help me to get justice and it is more convincing than am alone showing anger and get my justice. The session changed one of my underlying believe that ‘don’t showing anger is good’ to ‘show anger in a harmless way is better’ and which make me more self-reliant. And even I got answer for “why I feel fear” most of the time.

A problem which is addressed by the session was anxiety. I used to show anxiety most of the times, even when I know it has nothing to do, to accomplish my need. So I got awareness about the fake anxiety and need to avoid it.

The core personal learnings are; my racket fear over authentic anger, racket anxiety over authentic fear and a need to show ‘real’ ourselves in smooth manner instead making something forbidden to be good.

My Professional Learning

The session was initiated with an activity, through which facilitator tested our knowledge about different feelings, emotions and emotional expressions. So it created a sense that as a professional, initially we want to assess client’s knowledge about what are feelings, what are the types of feelings etc. The second part of the session was conducted with a questionnaire were facilitator asked about our recurrent feelings, its impact on the event and the severity of the feeling etc.

So method of questionnaire is highly informative to both client and clinician as well as it will be a leveled relation. The third session was also conducted as a questionnaire in which questions regarding our feelings are asked directly along with an indirect measure to understand our believes, social learnings, misconception which lies in our unconscious part of mind. I found that such indirect measures involving higher participation of client is a good method to create insight, to move information from blind space to open space and to develop more self-awareness.

References

  1. Duval,S.,and Wicklund,R. “A theory of objective self awareness” (1972) New York:Academic Press
  2. Fleeson, W., & Wilt, J. (2010). The relevance of Big Five trait content in behavior to subjective authenticity: Do high levels of within-person behavioral variability undermine or enable authenticity achievement? Journal of Personality, 78(4), 1354–1382.
  3. Hostie, R. (1982). Eric Berne, the Martian. Transactional Analysis Journal,12(2), 168-170. doi:10.1177/036215378201200215
  4. Joseph,L. (1984). Chapter 5. In Group Process: An Introduction to Group Dynamics, Mayfield publishing
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